Above, Tilly in our back courtyard, autumn 2009...when she still had her unfortunate penchant for munching on the flowers at the base of The Lady of Bumblehill, our statue by Wendy Froud.
Tilly and the Lady, summer 2013. Both have settled into Bumblehill nicely in the intervening years.
"I confess I do not believe in time," wrote Vladimir Nabokov. "I like to fold my magic carpet, after use, in such a way as to superimpose one part of the pattern upon another. Let visitors trip. And the highest enjoyment of timelessness -- in a landscape selected at random -- is when I stand among rare butterflies and their food plants. This is ecstasy, and behind the ecstasy is something else, which is hard to explain. It is like a momentary vacuum into which rushes all that I love. A sense of oneness with sun and stone. A thrill of gratitude to whom it may concern -- to the contrapuntal genius of human fate or to tender ghosts humoring a lucky mortal.”
Below, the courtyard when we first moved in -- after we'd pulled down a moldy old shed, covered in black tar paper, that took up most of its space.
And next, the same view as it looks today, table spread for lunch with a William Morris cloth.
“Every instant of our lives," said André Gide, "is essentially irreplaceable: you must know this in order to concentrate on life.”
Every moment. Oh yes, and especially these...
...the quiet, simple, forgettable moments of salad and sunshine and convivial conversation...
... of foxgloves blooming and pansies unmolested, and a lazy black dog on the garden path.
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious,” writes the food critic Ruth Reichl.
"Flowers are too," murmurs Tilly, falling fast asleep, tasting violets in her dreams.